IKEA Kura bed makeover project (house facade)

An uneventful afternoon at home and I was in the that "nesting" mood where I feel the need to get the house in order while I am still able, before I get too big with this baby.  

I was cleaning the kids room and realized pretty soon the girls will need to sleep in here and no longer with us.  The Kura bed we have will need to be flipped over to a bunk bed !  I called C in and told him my plan.  And he's like "right now" and I told him why not ?  We're just lounging around anyways, if we get it done now it's one thing less to do later on.  

He grudgingly agreed and within minutes we flipped the bed over !  He did the moving, I did the unscrewing of all the planks, etc and together we put it all back together.  That was easily accomplished !  

The Kura bed is probably the lowest bunk bed in the sea of bunk beds.  Still, a part of me feel uneasy about the girls up there playing.  I pictured them playing and fighting over toys and one accidentally pushed the other off :-O  it didn't sit well with me so I decided to google up ideas to raised the front side of the bed (the other sides are up against the wall).  I typed in "Kura bed makeover" and oh my, there were so many ideas !  I discovered the world of ikea hacks - when people modified the original ikea furniture into something else.  

After hours of browsing (there're so many cool designs), I thought a boat look with circle fish eye windows would be cool for the girls !  I shared the idea with C but he said we don't have the tools to do it.  I asked him what would be easy to do and he said maybe a tree house, as we need the side high enough to block the kids in.  Beggar can't be chooser so I said to him "let's do it!".  Again he asked me, "right now?" :) I looked at him and said, "well, our baby is coming in about 4 months and we need time to train the girls to sleep in their room".  And I added he can sleep in there too if he wants a good night of sleep !  He looked at me and said "You're always up to something !  You can't just rest can't you ?".  I would if I'm now not stuck with this idea, of what the bunk bed can become :-)
C drew a rough plan and we changed it like 10 times to make it easily achievable, because we (mostly I :-) want to finish it that afternoon.  I'm most impatient when it comes to projects.  If it can't be done within the day then I wouldn't do it.  For this project, we will not have a full on tree house, no fancy fence, fancy windows, green planters, slanted roof, and cute doors.  We're just going to put up a facade of a house.  After agreeing on the final look, C then left for Home Depot to pick up wood planks and nails.  We have a wood cutter, sander and cordless electric screwdriver already so that helped speed up the work.

C called from the store and asked what type of wood I want.  I told him untreated and preferrable cheapest as we've never done anything like this before.  Just in case it doesn't turned out the way we planned, we can salvage the wood for something else and not waste money.

We bought:

Wood type:  Pine
Front coverage:  1" x 6" by 8 feet high planks (about $8 for 1 plank, we bought 13, you might need more or less depending on area of coverage and design)
Trimming: 1" x 3" (C uses this to make the frame and keep the pieces together)
Nails - 2 types,  1 about 1 3/4" long to keep the frame together and 1 that's about 2 3/4" long to screw the frame onto the Kura bed frame.  C kept all his nails about 2" apart.

After an hour of measuring and cutting and another hour or so of nailing and smoothing out any uneven areas and putting pieces together in the garage to see how they all fit together, C happily announced we can now try to install it to the bed.  I was more excited than the kids !  And the kids were screaming with joy.  I had to move them to another room because they wanted to help with everything and were in our way so much.  

Here is the semi finished look.  It's semi because the next part is to paint it (we should have paint each plank first but I was way way too excited, I can't wait for that).  



Once up, C thought of putting a roof on top but I feel it might darken the space so we forego it. We raised the front railing by twice the Kura's height and covered half of the other side of the bed with planks so that we can put in storage shelves (inside) for Bee because she likes spaces for toys and books.  We used Ikea's wood spice racks as book shelves.

The house facade serves nicely as a safety barrier for our kids !  Our 2 1/2 year old can climb up to the top bed easily and the side is high enough that she can't falls over. So far it serves it's purpose and very sturdy.  C did an excellent job :-)  He said he would make a cooler tree house if I didn't rush him.  I told him it's nice as is and most importantly, the kids love it.

The girls play house on it often and use the windows as a drive through restaurant.  The bottom bed is their "food preparation" area and the top is their store front.  We read in here, play in here and when the girls are upset, they buried their head in their blanket crying.  It's their place of refuge !  As for sleeping, they do sleep in here, but not everyday.  Mind you, I am not encouraging it enough :)  I only have a few more months snuggling with them before baby come so I want to soak in as much of them as possible.